A AL-1530 Magnetic Loop Antenna delivers the HF signal via the Distribution Amplifier to the receivers. Additionally a LFL-1010 Magnetic Loop Antenna with enhanced LW sensitivity is connected to the ICOM R-9500 receiver for reception of VLF signals.
Both antennas are rotatable and may - together with a PA0RDT MiniWhip - via a little patchfield be connected to different receivers. The performance of the antennas is ok, the MiniWhip delivers excellent signals in the MF/LF range.
Flipping a few switches for receiver audio muting is faster than turning down 4 volume controls - that's the little box on the desk next to the digital 2-channel recorder from TASCAM.
CODE300-32 from HOKA is my decoding software for digital modes, it works absolutely stable since many years. Other very useful programs are: Free Audio Editor (much faster to handle than Audacity), DX Atlas and PropWizard from R&S (yes, it's free!).
For analysis of unknown digital modes Signal Analyser is the real thing: It offers outstanding accuracy and speed combined with superior graphics.
The best SW Audio Recorder I've found is Cybercorder. It offers an unlimited number of timer settings, is very fast to program and runs very smoothly.
Thanks to an extensive earthing system reception quality is not bad, surprisingly my wife's washing machine with frequency controlled motor is my main concern and I had to displace antennas a few times for acceptable results. PLT is another subject, it seems you just can't avoid that crap - luckely enough the source is rather distant and not constantly on. For further signal improvement I use 3 Noise Cancelling Units.
The HIOKI 8205 delivers hard copies of long-time audio level - or S-Meter recordings.
My Radio Direction Finder TAIYO TD-C358 delivers the best, what physics allow. I could eliminate nearly all systematic errors, but frequencies above 3-4 MHz really do suffer from steep incident angles. Look here for more: Radio Direction Finding .
Strong stations which only show up sporadically are best recorded by means of a Voice Activated Switch. For this unit I used a circuit diagram found once elsewhere. It uses the Line output of the receiver. The switch selects input 1 or 2, the controls adjust the signal amplitude and the duration (hysteresis) of the registration period.
Note: If the s/n ratio is bad, the unit will not work properly. Automatic Gain Control increases the noise - try to switch it off.
|The ready unit - a great help for all those who need some sleep.|
|Circuit diagram part 1. The bandpass limits the sensitive audio range, Morse specialists may easely narrow it even more (change RC values).|
|Circuit diagram part 2.|